Ban on smoking rooms in bars and restaurants to be enforced next year
As of April 1, 2020, the ban on smoking rooms in hospitality establishments, such as restaurants and bars, will be enforced. At the end of September, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of an immediate ban on these smoking rooms. There was already a ban in place for smoking in bars etc., implemented in 2008, but an exception was made for rooms specifically designated to smokers. Now, rooms designated to smokers are no longer allowed.
No more smoking rooms
The Dutch Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled in favour of a ban on smoking rooms in hospitality facilities after CAN (Clean Air Nederland) filed a lawsuit against smoking rooms, arguing that allowing such rooms or areas breaks the terms of an agreement with the World Health Organization regarding combatting tobacco exposure in indoor public places. This was back in 2018, but the State then lodged an appeal of cassation with the Supreme Court, which ruled in September 2019 that a ban on smoking rooms in hospitality establishments be put in place immediately.
Until the ban is enforced, those in the hotel, restaurant and cafe business have time to prepare themselves and their establishments and make arrangements with municipalities about possible nuisance from smokers in the streets. Additionally, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has time to arrange supervision.
In order to make it clear to businesses in the restaurant and hotel sector what the ban means for them and the consequences it will have, State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sports Paul Blokhuis has asked the NVWA to use the coming time to inform them about the ban, via, amongst other things, a flyer with questions and answers. The NVWA will also be speaking to businesses that have a smoking room during the regular inspections they do.
Smoking rooms in the workplace
Smoking rooms in the workplace are going to follow suit. Blokhuis is investigating whether it is possible to implement legislation to this end in 2022. He is also looking into whether the abolishment of smoking rooms in (semi-) governmental buildings and public buildings can be brought forward to 2021.